Lovell’s people development manager talks housebuilding careers for graduates

Bruce Boughton, people development manager at Lovell, speaks exclusively to Show House Jobs about the recruitment and career opportunities the multi-award-winning housebuilder offers to graduates.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your role.

I have worked at Lovell as the people development manager since 2005, and am responsible for training and development across the business. This covers new entrant programmes, such as apprenticeships and the graduate programme, as well as staff training and development. At Lovell we invest heavily in training our people. In 2016 we delivered an average of 5.8 training days per employee, significantly above the industry average. 173 different courses were provided and 98.2% of employees received some form of training.

Are graduates a significant part of Lovell’s recruitment process and what roles are they recruited for?

Our graduate scheme is a key part of how we bring new people into our company and the industry, alongside apprenticeships and our management trainee programmes. We started a formal graduate programme in 2014 and there has been an intake every year since then. Site management and quantity surveying are the most popular roles, but we have also had technical and bid-writing graduates. Graduates are usually recruited into specific disciplines, but occasionally they move to another department when we and they agree that the opportunity is suitable.

Is there a set on-going career path plan for the new graduate staff?

Graduates join a two-year programme which includes placements in various departments and graduate development days at our head office in Tamworth. Also included is the ILM Level 2 Award in Leadership and Team Skills, which introduces leadership and management skills. At the end of the two-year programme, the expectation is that graduates will be promoted into assistant roles. Further progress following the graduate programme is totally dependent on the impact individuals make on the business, which is exactly how it should be.

Do your graduates have individual mentors or is there a team looking after them as they progress?

Each graduate has an individual mentor and is also supported by their regional training advisor and myself.

As a national and ambitious company, are there different opportunities for graduates in the various regions?

Yes, vacancies are offered across our six regions. I have recently asked our regions to advise what vacancies will be available for the September 2018 intake. These will be published in November on the vacancies page of our website, www.lovell.co.uk.

Does the company have preferred university sources for staff or are you open to any candidates with relevant qualifications? 

We welcome applications from all universities with construction courses. For site management, a building or construction degree is appropriate. For quantity surveying, a quantity surveying degree is best.  Occasionally there are opportunities for non-cognate graduates.

What’s the timing and process for interested graduates to apply?

Applications open in November 2017 and the closing date is 31st January 2018. Applicants complete the online application form and we invite selected graduates for interview. We especially look for candidates with a passion for the construction industry, and a commitment to both the two-year graduate programme and further development.

Any additional comments about the current graduates in your London division / how are they getting on?

Lovell is committed to recruiting bright, motivated graduates with the potential to become future leaders, so it’s reassuring to hear very positive feedback about the new graduates in London. They have made an excellent start and are already making an impact in the business.

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